Get Started with Kayaking at Kiawah River

If your New Year’s resolutions include being more active and getting out in nature more often, then kayaking might be a great activity for you. Kiawah River’s neighborhood amenities for residents include several options for getting out to explore the creeks and waterways that surround the sea islands. Moderate temperatures this time of year may make it more appealing to dip your toe into one of the more popular activities that our residents enjoy year-round.  

You’ll surely see plenty of wildlife as you wind through Kiawah River’s creeks and river. We’re seeing plenty of white pelicans right now, as well as our resident bald eagles who are coming back to nest this time of year. Of course, you’ll see egrets, herons and cormorants passing through or stalking lunch along the banks. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot dolphins also cruising the waterways.

The wide, calm waters that weave through Kiawah River are a great place to get started kayaking, either on your own or with the help of one of our favorite local outfitters, Coastal Expeditions. Their experienced guides regularly conduct Kayak + Hike Tours at Kiawah River for residents and the general public, as well as other paddling and boating excursions throughout the year. They’re a great resource to help get you going on the water and exploring more of the enchanting natural spaces that make Kiawah River so special. 

Start with proper clothing. Since there’s a good chance you may get a little wet during your excursion, avoid cotton clothing, which will absorb water and stay wet. Instead, wear layers made of wicking, quick-drying nylon or polyester (or another synthetic fabric). Garments made from bamboo fiber, like those sold by Charleston-based Free Fly Apparel, are also a good choice for their moisture-wicking properties. Clothing should be loose enough for you to move comfortably. And it is always a good idea to wear a hat to protect from sun exposure, even on a cloudy, cool day.  

Always dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. A warm, sunny day will feel cooler over the lower temperatures of the water in the cooler months. In January and February, the water temps will hover around the mid-50s—brisk, for sure, but once you get paddling and your body warms up, you can shed a few of those layers that kept you warm at the outset. 

Go on a sunny, windless day. You’ll make it easier on yourself and will enjoy the experience much more. But if it is a bit breezy, start out by paddling into the wind. You’ll thank yourself on the way back when you’re a bit tired and don’t want to fight the headwind. While you’re getting used to kayaking, keep your excursions less than two hours, so you’re not fighting sore muscles on the way back as well.